Why Crystal Palace should reignite their interest in Michail Antonio in January
Crystal Palace were interested in signing West Ham attacker Michail Antonio during the summer transfer window, reports the Sky Sports. However, a move to Crystal Palace never materialised and Antonio has stayed at West Ham.
The 28-year-old struggled with fitness problems last season that saw him manage just 21 appearances. As a result, West Ham were prepared to sell him at the right price. But the 28-year-old has proved his fitness to new manager Manuel Pellegrini and has made nine appearances in all competitions this season.
However, Antonio isn’t a regular starter for the Hammers under Pellegrini and Palace must look to tempt the player by offering him regular game time in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace are struggling at the moment and most surprisingly, are yet to win a Premier League game at home this season.
Roy Hodgson’s tactics have been hit and miss as he has constantly switched formations due to various factors. One of the most important factors for his constant tactical switch has been injuries.
Christian Benteke has not featured for the Eagles since their 2-0 defeat to Southampton on September 1 and recently underwent a knee surgery. Benteke has featured four times for Palace in the league this season but is yet to score, and his absence has led to Hodgson experimenting with different players.
In Benteke’s absence, neither Jordan Ayew nor Alexander Sorloth has delivered as Palace continue to struggle for goals. Wilfried Zaha has been carrying the club on his shoulders for the last couple of seasons and without him, Palace have a dismal record. Hence, it would make sense if Hodgson splashed the cash on an attacking player to relieve some pressure off Zaha’s shoulders.
Antonio would fit the bill perfectly at Selhurst Park. With his ability to play in a number of positions – including right wing-back, left wing-back, left and right midfield, and false 9, Antonio would be a welcome addition to Palace’s squad.
The 28-year-old possesses a bag of tricks and a direct playing style that would help Hodgson’s team improve the potency of their play in the final third.
Antonio would bring a lot of pace to Palace’s attacking ranks and his versatility means Hodgson can use him in various positions. An incredibly hard worker and unplayable on his day, Antonio has proven himself in the top-flight at West Ham.
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If Antonio can keep himself fit, he would represent a fantastic buy for Palace. He would add quality and depth to the Palace squad in January ahead of the gruelling second half of the season.